When you think of technology, the first place you should think of isn’t Silicon Valley, or anywhere in California for that matter. No, the best place for technology and informational technology industries, is Jacksonville, Florida. Named in the top places in the US to start a business by numerous publications on multiple occasions, it has even been cited as having North America’s fourth-largest increase in tech talent. With these components together – it makes it clear that it is the best place. 

Back in 2014, it ranked #1 on WalletHub’s guide of Best Cities to Start a Business, a ranking based on 14 specific criteria, including corporate taxes, cost of office space, workforce education level, and real estate affordability. According to Dr. Paul Mason, an Economics Professor at the University of North Florida, Jacksonville’s low taxes, entrepreneurial workforce, and supportive business climate make the city a natural spot for new restaurants, shops, and other businesses. You can even find a variety of programs in the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Center that is aimed at helping small businesses grow and develop.

Technology Growth & Potential

Jacksonville is also one of the best cities when it comes to technology jobs and industries. It is ranked at #6 on the Forbes list for the Best Cities for Tech; they say that it has had a “72.4% expansion in tech employment and 17.4% STEM job growth since 2001, mostly as a result of a boom in data centers, computer facilities management, custom programming, and systems design.” But Forbes isn’t the only one that feels that way about Jacksonville. According to a Forrester Research report done in 2018, Jacksonville is one of 15 “tech talent hotspots” in the US. The study says that Jacksonville gives businesses an “opportunity to grow alongside their burgeoning tech scenes,” and even goes far enough to say that “[s]tartups and venturesome enterprises should check out what they have to offer.” The factors they used in order to gauge this include “[c]ost of living, thriving colleges, active local business associations, and dynamic start-up communities”, but, according to an interview given to WJCT by a Forrester analyst, Jacksonville’s strong workforce, which had been “growing by an almost seven percent annual rate,” helped propel it in the rankings.

We here at JaxNAP love Jacksonville. We’re ideally located between Atlanta and Miami and serve as the interconnection between the two cities. We reduce costs, latency, and risk in order to provide a unique asset for businesses with significant IT needs. Our talent pool is growing more rapidly than the U.S. average with more than 1,200 IT graduates from the region’s colleges and universities each year. That number, coupled with the 12,000 graduates in the IT field from the nearby University of Florida, adds a strong pipeline of a young skilled workforce for our area’s tech companies. The Jacksonville region is on track to be the nation’s first smart region with sizable investments and research in sensory data collection, next-generation technology, automated vehicles, and a designated innovation corridor. These strides are gaining recognition from global companies interested in setting up operations and testing technology.

Seaborn Network’s AMX-1 sub sea cable endpoint at JaxNAP in Jacksonville, FL.

Not to mention, Jacksonville and JaxNAP have very recently gotten a lot of attention, now that we have been designated as the host for the endpoint of Seaborn’s AMX-1 Subsea cable in the USA, connecting Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Jacksonville, Florida. The system provides customers with a direct, low latency and high availability route from the southern US to Brazil. With that on top of our eight onsite data centers and more than 20 fiber providers, Downtown Jacksonville’s JaxNAP is the most connected NAP between Atlanta and Miami. Jacksonville has long been a test market for innovation in the technology industries and, as such, established companies and startups are showing an increased interest in growing their presence in the region. Join us here in what is sure to become a grand tech capital in the US!